A business card is useless without context. Who gave it you? When? What were the circumstances?
Last year, we published the popular How Lawyers Use Evernote where lawyers shared how they use the note-taking and information-storing application. Since then–and through conference seasons–I’ve had a few inquiries on how to use Evernote to store and meaningfully manage business cards. In other words: how to turn them into opportunities for relationships. Here’s a quick tutorial:
How to capture a business card
In the post referenced above, John Harding provided the following step-by-step instruction for Using Evernote To Import Business Cards Into Your Contacts:
- Lay a business card down on a flat surface.
- Launch Evernote on your smartphone, click on the Camera icon, then select the Business Card option.
- Move your camera over the business card until Evernote detects it and then automatically takes the picture for you.
- Evernote then reads the business card and imports all of the information as a new contact in your Evernote account. Nothing for you to do but watch.
- Tell Evernote to send the information to the Contacts app on your phone. Evernote completes the task immediately, and that biz card buddy’s information is now in your system.
- Synchronize you phone contacts with whatever other Contact program(s) you use. Nothing could be easier.
- Bonus: If you have a LinkedIn account, Evernote has a one-click feature at the end of the business card scan so that you can connect on LinkedIn with your new business card buddy.
Contextualizing the business card
This is where the magic happens.
LinkedIn Context. Connect Evernote to your LinkedIn account. You’ll need to spring for the $50/year premium upgrade – worth it just for this feature!
As John noted in his “bonus” step, you can sync a scanned business card to the individual’s LinkedIn account which draws in their profile picture and other information into the Evernote contact. Included in the contact is a hyperlink to the full LinkedIn profile. The photograph will jar your memory and serve you well the next time you meet.
Experiential context. You’re also provided with a note field. Put information about your shared experience here – like how and where you met the person and highlights of the conversation you had. It doesn’t end there. Whenever you interact with the person, update the note field.
News and information context. Evernote has a Context feature that shows notes, articles, people, and companies related to what you’re working on. This is another premium feature. Partners include The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Inc., and Forbes, and of course, LinkedIn. In your Preferences Menu, select what types of Context results you’d like to see.
We all miss out on building relationships with the people we meet and often it’s because we can’t match a face or story to the clutter of business cards we’ve collected. Add context for a more meaningful and rewarding connection.